... the merciful and the pure
The Beatitudes are about how to live joyfully even when things are hard. How? By always doing what is right, forgiving others and ourselves, being kind and, most importantly, following Christ and accepting his free gift of salvation! Today, let’s look at two more Beatitudes, or blessings …
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
OK, so what does it mean to have mercy? Have you ever gotten in trouble but your parents gave you a smaller punishment than you deserved? That’s mercy. But it’s more than just letting those who do wrong get off easy. It’s about having compassion for people. It’s about understanding that we are all sinners and that we deserve the most severe punishments because we’ve disobeyed God. But God has had compassion on us. He’s seen our suffering, and it breaks his heart. So he has given us his mercy through Christ Jesus! Likewise, because no one is perfect — not even you 🙂 — we will be blessed when we show compassion and mercy to the people around us.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8).
If we are all sinners, how can anyone have a pure heart? So here’s the thing about this verse … purification is a process. Water goes through filtration and heat before it is pure to drink. Metals are refined — melted in hot fire — before being considered pure. So to be pure in heart is to be refining our hearts through a process of going through the good and bad things that happen in life while always seeking to get closer to God. Purification happens for a specific reason. With water, it’s so we can drink it. For metal, it’s to produce things like gold, silver or strong building materials. For our hearts, it’s accepting that all that we go through in life is for the purpose of knowing God more, relying on him more and loving him all the more.
In the next issue, we’ll talk about the final two Beatitudes — and what it means to live peacefully and the importance of doing the right thing even when it’s hard. Until then, be blessed!
Read this verse, which begins with “Create in me a pure heart, O God,” and think about the ways God is creating a pure heart in you.
- Ask your mom or dad about a time they should have disciplined you harder but showed you mercy. Write down what it feels like to be shown mercy.
- Think about someone who hurt you. Did you show them mercy? Write down ways you can be merciful in the future.
- Ask God to help you understand what it means to have mercy. Thank him for his mercy for you, for me and for all of the world.
- Ask God to continue to purify you so you can know and rely on him more.